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Eight Important Tips To Starting a Business
Most people have considered starting a business at one time or another. But what puts a lot of people off of the idea is the realization that they don’t have the time or money. However, starting a business doesn’t have to mean opening a brick and mortar storefront or taking out a small business loan. A side business can be started from your home and requires very little overhead. What’s more, most side hustles can fit into your free time, starting out with just a handful of hours per week.
From there, you can gradually increase your commitment as your business grows. Whether it’s freelance journalism, app development, tutoring, web design, personal training, or any number of other options that interest you, bear in mind that you can start a side business with next to zero startup capital and a few hours per week of your time.
If you’ve ever wanted to start your own business but didn’t think you had the time or money, read on for my top tips for starting a side business.
- 1 Find the Intersection of What You Want To Do and What You Are Good At
- 2 Conduct Market Research
- 3 Make Time for Your Business (Create a Schedule)
- 4 Market Your Brand
- 5 Always be Networking
- 6 Keep Your Customers Happy
- 7 Hold Yourself Accountable
- 8 Remember to Pay Quarterly Taxes
- 9 Subscribe to get the free Money Master Course!
- 10 You have Successfully Subscribed!
Find the Intersection of What You Want To Do and What You Are Good At
The first step to starting a side business is determining where your interests meet your skillset. If you opt for something that you’re good at but have no interest in, you’re more likely to burn out. And if you choose a field that you’re passionate about but don’t have the skillset for, you are much less likely to succeed in your endeavor.
If you’re knowledgeable and passionate about the written word, you may want to consider a side hustle as a freelance writer. If you have a background in coding, perhaps you should try your hand as an app developer. The possibilities are limitless but before you can be successful, you need to find the right fit for you.
Conduct Market Research
This is of paramount importance. You may have what you think is a great idea for a side business but it’s entirely possible that your first choice for a secondary endeavor is in an oversaturated market. Consider consulting with someone you trust that works in the field you are trying to break into. Make sure you aren’t doomed before you start. If your first choice doesn’t pan out, go back to square one and find something else that you are both skilled at and passionate about.
Make Time for Your Business (Create a Schedule)
This may seem obvious, but I cannot overstate the importance of making time for your new business. The self-employed must be self-motivated. If you struggle with time management, make a schedule. Plan a little bit of uninterrupted time to devote to your side hustle on any days off from your day job and, if possible, pencil in some time before or after your work day. The more time you dedicate to your secondary endeavor, the more you will get out of it. Also, check out out article on time management to make extra money.
Market Your Brand
Your business should have a website on day one. If you aren’t familiar with search engine optimization, consider brushing up on that. The more you know about Google’s search algorithm, the more likely you are to rank higher for keywords related to your business.
Also keep in mind that we live in the age of social media. Your secondary endeavor should have its own Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram profiles. Social media provides a free platform for you to self-promote and, like with most things, you will get out of it what you put into it. Regular posts will ensure greater engagement from your followers and better visibility in the search algorithms. Social media marketing isn’t just the way of the future. It’s also the way of the present.
Outside of social media, you should have business cards created for handing out to potential clients and if applicable, flyers made up to promote your side business around your neighborhood. Flyers are particularly effective for gigs like tutoring or personal training.
Always be Networking
If you have friends that own their own businesses, find ways to cross promote one another in a mutually beneficial manner.
Consider attending networking meetings for your geographic area where you can find additional opportunities for cross promotion.
Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and cold call. No one enjoys this but it gets easier with time and experience. And it will eventually lead to results.
Keep Your Customers Happy
Social media is a double-edged sword. It’s a great marketing tool but it can also be detrimental if you don’t take care of your clients. One bad online review could cost you countless future gigs. To avoid that, do everything within reason to make sure that every customer you interact with is happy with your product or service.
Hold Yourself Accountable
Just because you don’t have a boss doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a performance review. You should be regularly sitting down and crunching numbers to determine how successful your side business is and where your opportunities for growth and improvement are.
If you are growing month over month, consider expanding your business and finding ways to invest more time and money into it. Many full-time business owners started with a side hustle. If your business is growing faster than you can keep pace with, it may be time to consider the feasibility of shifting focus from your day job to your secondary endeavor.
Remember to Pay Quarterly Taxes
As a small business owner, you are responsible for paying in quarterly taxes. It can be very tempting to spend and or reinvest everything you are making from your side hustle. But don’t let that temptation get the best of you. Interest, late fees, and penalties for unpaid taxes add up. You will save yourself a lot of headache by being proactive and submitting payments to the IRS every three months.
What Tips Do You Have For Starting a Business?